Three residents of Bokolo community under Funtua Local Government Area of Katsina State were in the early hours of Monday kidnapped and taken to an unknown location by several armed men.
The kidnappers were said to have stormed the area at about 11:30 pm on Sunday, operating from house to house without hindrance or resistance from the police or other security agencies until the early hours of Monday.
When they left on Monday, they went away with the three victims, identified as a 47-year-old car electrician known in local parlance as rewire, a 21-year-old student of Federal University Gusau, Zamfara State, and his five-year-old sister.
SaharaReporters reliably gathered from residents of the area that all three victims are of Yoruba extraction and had lived in the Katsina community for several years.
It was also gathered there had been attacks in Bokolo but none came close to the latest one, which has left residents afraid and feeling unsafe.
A community leader in the area told SaharaReporters that they had to storm the police area command in the local government area on Monday morning in large numbers to register their frustrations and demand action from the authorities.
“This is not the first time that bandits will be attacking villages in Funtua but the latest one surpasses previous incidents.
“We have gone to the palace of the Yoruba leader here and also the police headquarters in Funtua to inform the area commander about the incident.
“It is not only Yoruba people that are being kidnapped here but we have never witnessed three being abducted at once.
“The kidnappers have been making contact with the family of the man. They are asking for N30 million but the family is still bargaining. They have not named any price for the young man and the girl.
“The student was around because of the strike by university lecturers, he came to see his father when he was kidnapped.
“The families don’t have money; they are just managing their lives. There is nowhere they can get that type of money.
“The police said they are tracking the kidnappers, we hope that they can do all they can to free the victims,” the resident, who spoke condition of anonymity for safety reasons, said.
The spokesperson for the police in Katsina State, Isah Gambo, did not respond to several calls put across to his mobile number on Monday after by our correspondent.
Response to a text message sent to him on the issue was also being awaited at the time of this report.
Despite being the home state of Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, Katsina has come under incessant attacks bandits and other armed groups in recent times with residents being kidnapped, maimed and killed on a regular basis.
For instance, on February 11, 2022, residents of Tashar Biri Village in Yatumaki of Dan Musa Local Government Area of the state were asked by bandits to pay N30million or risk ferocious attacks.
The request followed the killing of a bandit kingpin known as Dankarami (Small).
In August 2021, bandits attacked villages in Musawa and Matazu local government areas of Katsina, killing a village head and some others, while several houses were burnt.
They stole hundreds of animals and burnt down some houses, and then proceeded to Dugul Village where they killed the village head, Mallam Rabiu, and four others.